Stirling Albion 3 Peterhead 1
Peterhead’s Premier Sports Cup campaign ended in a 3-1 defeat from Stirling Albion at Forthbank in a game that the Blue Toons looked fragile at defending set-pieces.
Lenny Wilson returned to action between the sticks with Danny Strachan, Derryn Kesson and Jordon Brown also involved form the start with goalkeeper Brett Long, Lyall Cameron and Simon Ferry moving to the bench and Russell McLean dropping out due to a ban.
The game started in quick fashion with the hosts’ Dale Carrick having a header saved by Wilson in the first minute and Peterhead replying with a Jordon Brown header that crept over the bar from a free kick after Niah Payne had been fouled.
The pace remained fast and there two goals scored in a minute with Stirling taken the lead on six minutes and the visitors replying a minute later.
Albion opened the scoring with a close range header from Jordan McGregor following a Jack Leitch cross from a corner however Peterhead were not behind for long.
Hamish Ritchie darted into the home box where he was fouled by Adam Cummins and Scott Brown did an immaculate job from the spot.
Parity was not held for long as Stirling grabbed a second goal on 12 minutes and again it came from a corner. Nathan Flanagan provided the cross this time with Martin McNiff providing the finish from six yards out.
Flanagan had a shot blocked before Peterhead threatened a second equaliser on 25 minutes when Scott Brown let fly from a free-kick however his effort was just off target.
Jordon Brown was next to have a go when he fired a shot goalward from the edge of the Stirling box on 32 minutes however his effort also failed to trouble Blair Currie.
The pace finally began to slow down with just one further opening created before the half-time whistle with Cummins going close for the hosts with a right foot drive however Wilson was able to watch it clear his goal.
When the teams re-emerged for the second half it was felt that the next goal was going to be crucial and disappointingly for Peterhead when it came within two minutes of the restart it made the score-line 3-1.
To rub salt into the Blue Toon wounds it was a former player who grabbed it with Jack Leitch drilling in from the edge of the box.
Peterhead tried to hit back quickly and Jordon Brown had a header saved before sending a shot over Currie’s goal.
Stirling weathered that flurry and Currie stood firm to hold a drive from Ryan Conroy with 12 minutes left before Flanagan threatened again at the other end with Wilson forced into a smart stop.
Substitute Derek Lyle had a late chance to set up a grandstand finish however he fired wide of the Stirling goal.
When the final whistle sounded Stirling had secured second place in the group however their 8 point total was not enough for them to progress with Peterhead finishing on the same three point mark as Cove Rangers.
Peterhead – Wilson, Mulligan, Conroy, McDonald, Jason Brown (Mushanhu 77), Kesson (Lyle 59), Ritchie, S Brown, Payne, Strachan, Jordon Brown (Cameron 60)
Unused substitutes – Long, Ferry, Cook